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A New Season of 'Last Tango in Halifax' Debuts – Finally!
September 20, 2020  | By David Hinckley  | 21 comments
 


Last Tango in Halifax
 dances on.

One of television's most daring dramas launches its brief four-episode new season Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

At the risk of a mild spoiler, things are not all going well for Alan Buttershaw (Derek Jacobi, top) and his wife Celia (Anne Reid, top).

As fans know, that's not really a spoiler at all. The charm of Last Tango, from the beginning, has been that it has never suggested charm is enough.

The show revolves around the late-in-life romance between Alan and Celia, who almost had a relationship in their teens and then reconnected in their 70s when both have lost long-time spouses.

They find the old spark and marry, which, with two splendid and likeable actors in Jacobi and Reid, sounds like a lock for a celebration of happily ever after.

Instead, Last Tango takes a detour and finds the land mines as well as the roses. Ever since we got past the giddy thrill of the new relationship, it has explored that relationship in a notably unsentimental way.

That is to say senior love is much like love at any age, its pleasures balanced against the parallel discovery of the ways in which any two human beings will see the world differently.

As Last Tango enters its fourth U.S. season, which is officially Season 5 in the U.K., Alan and Celia have been married seven years, and some of the things that were not issues in the earlier years have begun to simmer a bit more openly.

In keeping with the unblinking nature of Sally Wainwright's scripts, Celia has not always behaved or spoken admirably. She has passive-aggressive tendencies and strong, sometimes not compassionate, opinions.

Alan, who initially seemed to be the quintessential nice guy who was finally finishing first, turns out to have some unflattering secrets in his past. When they surface, they complicate everything.

Perhaps most significantly, both Alan and Celia have daughters, and those daughters, while we like them, bring multiple issues into everyone's lives.

Alan's daughter Gillian (Nicola Walker) struggles to run a farm almost single-handedly. She has an infinite capacity for hard work and an uncanny ability to make every possible wrong decision when it comes to her personal life.

Meanwhile, Celia's daughter Caroline (Sarah Lancashire), having lost her partner Kate as a result of being hit by a car, is raising their daughter.

Caroline's ex John (Tony Gardner) and his partner Judith (Ronni Ancona) continue to play a prominent and often disruptive role as the new season begins. Non-spoiler: Judith becomes more successful in her writing and less responsible in her drinking.

The issues that arise at the start of the new season aren't as seismic – or, okay, soapish – as some of those from the past couple of seasons. They center more on everyday matters, like money.

That doesn't make those issues any less threatening to relationships, starting with Alan's and Celia's, particularly now that the first wave of romance is no longer washing over and smoothing out the rough patches.

Jacobi and Reid have created characters we like in spite of some troubling traits, and Last Tango has found endearing rom-com elements in a story that doesn't revolve around young beauties and acknowledges that love and affection often must survive friction.

It's a dance we don't often see choreographed so well.

 
 
 
 
 
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21 Comments
 
 
Julie
I love this and can't wait to see more!
Sep 28, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ann Maloney
I love everything about "Last Tango." The actors are superb. It doesn't get better than this. So happy there's another season to enjoy. It has been another wonderful drama that I've relished since Downton Abbey. No need to say more.
Sep 24, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Ann Maloney
I love everything about "Last Tango." The actors are superb. It doesn't get better than this. So happy there's another season to enjoy. It has been another wonderful drama that I've relished since Downton Abbey. No need to say more.
Sep 24, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Jennifer Phillips
Robbie was mentioned briefly in the Season 5, Episode 1, I think. Didn’t Gillian received a short letter from him where he’s up in Canada. Alan is wonderful, handsome and charming, though he might need to be a little more assertive with Celia.
Sep 23, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Marlene Webber
Kate didn't die in childbirth she was killed in a car crash.
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
WIF
Thank you. A gross error, far too formulaic for the show and it's irregular trajectory.
Sep 23, 2020
 
 
 
Marcia Rauch
Why didn't PBS show the second episode of season 4 before jumping to episode 1 of season 5?
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Wendy king
I am absolutely over the moon there is another series, I have been waiting ages to find out if their would be another. It has you glued & can't wait for the next episode.
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Grace
wanted to know about Caroline
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
Susan
What wonderful casting!! In the Christmas episode, toddler Flora actually looks like Kate!!
Sep 22, 2020
 
 
 
Grace Vasquez
Love this show, glad it's back, so sad when Kate passed
I stopped watching it, I was so upset, I always wonder why
Ms Wainwright did that, I only watch pbs nothing else on is worth watching, wanted to know about caroline though is just a series we felt her pain, I started watching it again, wanted to know about Gillian also, they are all such good actors and its a
very good series, keeps me waiting for the next episode.
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Darth
Enthusiastic about visiting this family of achievers in their own special hemispheres of angst .. truly a cast and storyline believable for
So many as
The population of boomers comes
Into the world of aging love and elder children .. I’m
Thrilled and excited to be a part of this journey .. thank you
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Cliff Holm
With so much poor quality television programing LTIH is a blast of high quality REAL entertainment--so happy it's back!
Sep 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
Sandi
I wholeheartedly agree! It is the highlight of my week!
Sep 22, 2020
 
 
 
Louise Halverson
Can't seem to find season 5 episode 3 anywhere to watch online in the USA. Love the show. No problem finding other episodes.
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
Millie
Oh, and also playing on PBS depending on where you are
Sep 22, 2020
 
 
Millie Russell
Try Google Play Movies & TV or youtube or daily motion
Sep 22, 2020
 
 
 
Debra Titus
Am thrilled LTIH is back on the air!
Really am disliking Celia more & more. Although she's never been one to hold her tongue, I believe she's become more controlling & just plain meaner.
Anne Reid plays this type of character so we'll as she did in Sanderson, the JA show.
I must have missed what happened to Robbie. Anyone know??
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
Ann Lane
Gillian confesses she really did kill Eddie. Robbie, who is now retired and at lose ends, decides he needs to get away and travel. It was in one of the specials. I felt he would return but 7 years later, he is not mentioned.
Sep 22, 2020
 
 
 
Deborah
Caroline lost her wife, not partner.
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
Steve
Thank you, Karen.
Sep 22, 2020
 
 
 
Muriel
First time viewer of LTIH, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Will have to try and see earlier episodes. Looking up the actors on imdb, I see Anne Reid and I were born 7 days apart in Newcastle
on Tyne!
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Elizabeth Jack
I was surprised after watching the first part of the Christmas Special episode last night, to be Delighted with episode one of Season 5, can’t get enough Of the show great cast. ??
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Margott Mattison
Saw the first episode ceila is very angry and resentful!! Alan needs to. Needs to give his daughter the money for the wood worms!! I like how the director showed snippets of there kitchen!! Its lovely!!!I It gave the viewer how nasty ceila has become! Great acting on being a very selfish women!!!! Ceila has turned in to a bit of a narcissist!!!!
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
Janine Eaton
I agree about Celia.??
Sep 21, 2020
 
 
 
Diana Steele Cole
I found this show in the spring and couldn’t wait for this last season. I love this show! But Celia is getting a bit rude, putting it mildly.
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Brian
Great show! Extraordinary acting. Explores multiple aspects of real life. I wish it was more than 4 episodes. Correction - Kate died as a result of a vehicle crash.
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Scotty
We just recently found and binged Tango in Halifax so we haven’t waited as long as others for this new season. But I just have to say we were so immediately taken with it that the short wait was hard! We LOVE LOVE LOVE this show!!
Sep 21, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
 
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